Viral Actions: Predicting Video View Counts Using Synchronous Sharing Behaviors


  • David Shamma Yahoo! Research
  • Jude Yew University of Michigan
  • Lyndon Kennedy Yahoo! Research
  • Elizabeth Churchill Yahoo! Research


In this article, we present a method for predicting the view count of a YouTube video using a small feature set collected from a synchronous sharing tool. We hypothesize that videos which have a high YouTube view count will exhibit a unique sharing pattern when shared in synchronous environments. Using a one-day sample of 2,188 dyadic sessions from the Yahoo! Zync synchronous sharing tool, we demonstrate how to predict the video's view count on YouTube, specifically if a video has over 10 million views. The prediction model is 95.8% accurate and done with a relatively small training set; only 15% of the videos had more than one session viewing; in effect, the classifier had a precision of 76.4% and a recall of 81%. We describe a prediction model that relies on using implicit social shared viewing behavior such as how many times a video was paused, rewound, or fast-forwarded as well as the duration of the session. Finally, we present some new directions for future virality research and for the design of future social media tools.




How to Cite

Shamma, D., Yew, J., Kennedy, L., & Churchill, E. (2021). Viral Actions: Predicting Video View Counts Using Synchronous Sharing Behaviors. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 5(1), 618-621. Retrieved from